A Weirdo Reviews

An honest perspective on what’s hot and what’s not, based on a complex criteria constructed by an alien lunatic.

photo of the inside of Limencello restaurant in Danang

Limoncello Danang – The Best Italian Restaurant in the City?

photo of the inside of Limencello restaurant in Danang

when someone told me there's a restaurant better than Limoncello, I had no reply, I'd never been, until one drunken night...

I was frequently encountering some Malaysian and Singaporean oil drillers at Riverside bars in Danang. They were a rowdy fun bunch who spent a shit ton of money on booze, and booze only. Once we had established a balanced exchange of words, we discussed the best places to eat in Danang. The Singaporean said he had just been to My Casa, and said it was the best place in the city, even better than Limoncello.

Well, I had only been to My Casa, so I just agreed like some snivelling school girl. I had also been to Torino, which I consider to a fine establishment with decent Italian food. The name Limoncello sounded like a piece of shit Italian restaurant in a piece of shit town where shit things happen, such as Aldershot. But this is Danang so it was likely that I was wrong. It was a long time before I got the chance to go to Limoncello, due to lockdowns and forgetting, but one rainy drunken Monday I decided to give a go.

First impressions were, this is OK. I mean look at the photo at the top, looks nice enough don't it? The one concern I had was, will I order the right thing, and has lockdown been too long for standards to have been maintained?

I knew what sort of thing I wanted, but I wasn't sure if what I wanted would be the best selection. The frebees of bread sticks and generic bread appeared to be a bad omen. Even restaurants in Doncaster, the pinnacle of bad decisions, would not dare serve such things even for free. Torino, my favourite Italian place in Danang, was already ahead by a substantial points lead. The bread was no way near as good, not that I'm some bread wanker, but you know, a man can still rate bread. I didn't take my usual time choosing what to eat, which I am often told is two months in dog years, I just went for it.

I ordered Insalata di Mare, the Chef's special seafood salad with squid, clams, olives, green beans and celery, with a mango dressing. Just writing that makes me feel like total c*nt, but it's what I did. That would be followed by Tortelli di Carne in Salsa Pomodoro Fresca, Cipolloto e Speck, which sounds like a Brazilian footballers full name, but was just braised beef ravioli with tomato and spec ham. I was unsure about these choices, but I was drunk, so I ordered some wine too.

When the salad arrived, I was relieved.

picture of a plate of seafood salad at Limoncello in Danang
picture of slowbraised beef tortelli with tomoto

When I tried my first bite, I was elated. The seafood was all there me sons, I definitely had more character than the first salad I tried at Torino, and price wise, it was just mildly offensive.

After smashing that into slobbering but handsome mouth, I was swiftly delivered the tortelli.

The tortelli was cooked well, rather than well cooked, and the meat inside was not sloppy like I expected, but almost al dente itself.

It was pleasant.

And the sauce definitely had a nice delicate flavour as promised. So all round, it was great, and I would probably had appreciated it more had I been sober.

Maybe the only disappointments I had came in the shape of the presumption of stereotypes. I want my Italian places to be slightly offensive, like Jamaican bars and Scottish delicatessens. I want people dressed up in a way an every-day Joe and Jane would imagine the people of that country to dress. I expect Andrea Bocelli to be blasted out whilst the owner runs around pinching girls on the backside. But that's just me.

It's a good spot, the music volume was set to a very-very background level. The staff, well, staff member, was very good but not OTT like My Casa, where the staffs attentiveness is millimetres from crossing the line into harassment.

Even the owner was there, the only other person's there as it goes (which happens a lot during these weird times), and he came over briefly to ask about my level of satisfaction. This was probably due to me constantly writing this blog and taking photos like some 19 year old with the self esteem of a eunoc sand mole, but it's all appreciated baby.

Limoncello is a good spot, and has rightly earned itself the accolade as being one of the best in Danang, though I only heard this statement from a drunk oil rigger, it still counts.

Limoncello Danang – The Best Italian Restaurant in the City? Read More »

torino-restaurant-danang

Where Are The Best Places To Eat in Danang?

Where Are The Best Places To Eat in Danang?

Follow by Email
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
oce-be-le

Where Are The Best Places to Eat in Danang?

Where Are The Best Places To Eat in Danang?

You've read all the generic top 10 restaunrant lists, so here's one based on the explorations and expertise of an alien like me.

This list is based on some choice favourite establishments in the My An ward area of Danang, the ex-pat hub that runs along the south of My Khe beach. My An is an area full of great food venues, and I have never tired of the choices. Be aware that this list was more extensive, but due to the "2020 situation" a lot of good places are sadly no more, so we shall not mention any place that belongs under the heading: "look at what you could have won!"


Quan Oc Be Le

oce-be-le
quan-oc-be-le

This place is proper rustic. That’s the polite way to describe it, otherwise you would most likely say gutter as hell. But that’s probably part of the charm, if that’s your kind of thing. For me, the aesthetics don’t really matter, it’s the food and hospitality. If you were to just walk past a place like this, you would have no clue as to what delights are on offer, it’s a sneaky secret for us Johnny foreigners, but the locals know what time it is. It’s shell fish time. My first time here I ordered four dishes with friends, this was half a dozen oyster steamed with dressing, a bowl of razor clams, smaller shell clams in broth and a bowl of stir fried Morning Glory. And all of it was super sweer awesome. The oysters had been steamed and dressed with some herbs, peanuts and some sauces I could not quite recognise. At first this seemed like an odd combination, considering how we are use to consuming oysters, but it worked very well and was good enough for me to order another half dozen. The razor clams were cooked perfectly and complimented with spice and garlic, and the clam broth was a winner, lots of lemongrass and chilli. And even the Morning Glory could of been enjoyed on it’s own, the balance of garlic, chilli and other flavourings made it one of the most morish vegetable dishes I’d ever stuffed into my face. They say never judge a book by it’s cover, unless it’s got Owen Jones’ face on it then you should insist on burning it, but in this case that cliche rings true. This place is a must and considering each dish is 39,000 dong, you really can’t go wrong.


Chuyen Nang Dau

chueyn-nan-dau-anton-4
sweet-and-sour-vietnamese-chicken-scaled

This place is not listed on google maps or any guide I have come across, but it should be. I would like to say it’s a family run restaurant steeped in tradition, but I can’t because I have no idea. I just know it’s great. It ticks many boxes for me. The setting, interior, service, food and drink all get a tick and therefore the venue gets my illustrious stamp of approval. When speaking to a couple of Spanish ex-pats who had lived in Vietnam for almost a decade, they told me that if you pay around 60,000 dong for a meal (less than $3) you will get really good quality food. This restaurant serves that food. 

The dishes here are what I would describe as more high end Vietnamese cuisine. They have some familiar dishes, sweet and sour chicken or pork, caramelised pork, and lemongrass frog, chicken or pork. All of them are cooked perfectly, my particular favourites being the slow braised caramelised pork and the lemongrass and chilli frog. The prices are very reasonable for the level of quality you get, with the braised pork being the priciest at a mere 90,000 dong (just under $4). They also have a very good wine and cocktail list, which has Negroni’s for 75,000, the cheapest I have found and they’re pretty damn good.

The place is very relaxed and well spaced out, and at night the lighting is just right (I have a thing about certain lighting, lighting makes huge differences in my world). The best area during an evening meal is the top floor, it's great place to indulge in a longed out eating and drinking session if you can get a seat at the front. I often enjoy spending a couple of hours eating and drinking whilst observing the goings on below on Anthon 4. It would be even better if it stayed open a bit later than 10pm, and the owners would love it to be a bit busier than it is usually, though I like it like that. Hopefully this place can ride out this current situation and still be there when more people return to Danang, because they're in for a treat.


Meat Plus

meat-plus-danang

When looking for Korean restaurants, and Korean BBQ places especially, Danang has more than its fair fair share. Meat Plus stands out as it focuses on beef. Meat Plus may sound like some wacky protein supplement that gives you the vitality of a prized bull, but it's actually part of a small chain. You choose from a selection of beef cuts, cuts that are not quite so familiar to a British man, and it's brought over and flamed in front of your hungry face to perfection. There is also a complimentary buffet of salad, kimchi, sources, and vegetables to accompany your BBQ. I came in here on a Monday night, and I found myself the only solo eater amongst a small crowd of Korean's chomping down a whole field cattle whilst swigging Soju. It's a good experience, and the staff are attentive, and the price didn't make me want to fight a Frisian. It's worth noting that not only is the name not so appealing, the building kind of looks like a working man's club on a Leeds council estate, though the interior is very nice. PS, no offence to Leeds council estates, but fighting and BBQ is never a good mix.


Torino Restaurant & Bakery

torino-restaurant-danang

There are a few good Italian restaurants in Danang, but Torino is one that really impressed, and I don’t really get impressed too often, mainly because I’m too cool for that kind of thing. I first went to Torino late morning on my birthday. My objective was to have full banquet with wine on my J’s and just do me. This was a another great decision by me. I ordered the Insalata Mista Con Pollo (chicken salad) followed by Ravioli Ripeni Con Capesante E Gamberi Con Burrata (which is ravioli stuffed with scallops and shrimp, with tomato sauce and burrata cheese). The salad was impressively large for the price, as was the bowl of ravioli that followed. The ravioli was legit, the … cheese was also an amazing addition. When Italian food is done right it is hard to beat, and this was very impressive. When you become accustomed to the abundance of Italian chain eateries that litter the UK’s high streets and shopping centres, you forget that this cuisine is one the best in the world. And when you get a decent meal for a fraction of the price that you fork out at Zizzi’s or Carluccio’s that has some craft applied to it’s creation, you know life is good. Torino makes life good. And the Espresso that followed my meal was absolute fire and I found myself torpedoing out the door.

Honourable mentions

  • Taco Ngon

    A Taiwanese-Mexican fusion taco place that has a small menu of interesting and taste bud pleasing tacos, all for under 40k. 

  • Bikini Bottom

    It has a silly name, but it does have a good selection of tacos, burgers, and poke bowls, with interesting and tasty blends of ingredients.

  • Pizza - Da Vinci, Bello, and Olivia

    The options for decent wood-fired pizza is plentiful in the My An ward. These three establishments are all very similar for quality and decent pricing. I have often ordered deliveries from all of these, and have never been disappointed. 

  • Hanna's Kitchen

    The rule of thumb for places that have a huge menu with bad photographs is that you avoid them. This place breaks the mould. The portions are huge and the price is agreeable, it's not fancy-fancy, but it's thoroughly satisfying. 

SUPPORT MY WORK

Where Are The Best Places To Eat in Danang? Read More »

re-bar-wank

Red Bar – Phnom Penh: A Familiar Wank Hole

Follow by Email
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest

Red Bar - Phnom Penh: A Familiar Wank Hole in an Unfamiliar Place

re-bar-wank

Red Bar - Phnom Penh: A Familiar Wank Hole in an Unfamiliar Place

Red Bar - Phnom Penh: A Familiar Wank Hole in an Unfamiliar Place

Hipster bars are now officially everywhere, there is not escape...

When I first researched Cambodia, I was given the impression that it was a run down Wild West type situation. On first inspection, I saw it was filled with fucked up looking westerners who had given up on Thailand, and in turn, given up on life. I was amazed to see a busted looking old honky-tron passed out stone cold on the bank of the Mekong river at 2 in the afternoon. Not long after that I saw another man in his 50's, pinging his ballsack off at a small cafe nearby. This fuck did't even have the decency to wear a t-shirt, just a grubby vest and skanked shorts covered in their bad choice of breakfast.
But these failures of societies blessed norms were a welcome site compared with what I witnessed at Red Bar.

Like many newbies in a strange city, I consulted google for guidance. Unfortunately google's algorithm has a tendency to prefer the mundane and played out. I searched for variables of the usual: best street food, best restaurants, best clubs, best markets, best bars. Now the latter is what we are focusing on, the rest is of no concern for you right now. But trust me, you'll want to have a long hard think about how you research ANY of these decisions in the future after reading these paragraphs of disdain.
The guide I selected was the same guide that told me about the other things I was looking to discover. Street food, restaurants, clubs and markets: Culture Trip. I won't put their web address in, they have paid me nothing and therefore I owe them fuck all. I will say they did good on the pizza place I found (because, you know, when in Cambodia you gots to have a pizza). When I looked at their guide for bars, I discovered a pattern of coincidence. Turned out that the Airbnb I had booked out of pure financial convenience was a skip and mince from the best bars, restaurants, and something else I can't remember. So it made sense to check out these places that came so highly recommended as they were so close.
Red Bar was described as some sort of hip tank hole, but I did not really care for that aspect, it was the $1 draught lagers that sold it to me. You cannot go wrong with that sort of deal. NEVER. Even during my first drinking excursion here I found two venues selling 75 cent draughts during happy hour time frames that would make any British man wet as a cum soaked cucumber. Those venues had appalling service and played the same song every 22 minutes, but I got drunk for the cheapest price I have paid in 25 years, so I didn't care.

Now paying $1 for drinks at a place that is on THE LIST of places to drink in a nations capital was too good to pass up. Plus, as mentioned, it was round the fucking corner.
Now let it be clear, I use to work in Shoreditch, in fact I worked there in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2015 and 2016. I did my tours of duty in wanker land, I earned these stripes. These stripes give me the expertise to judge a full functioning wank hole and warn potential customers of what pitfalls of spunk buggery awaits them.
This place had the cheap drinks, cheap cocktails, but also had the un-mistakebale musk of wank. Not just uber east London wank, but uber worldwide dry wank. Dry wank is the worse wank of all. It's not shit enough to laugh about, and it's not great enough to rave about. It has no emotion. It does not disappoint, it does not annoy, it does not please, it does not anger, it does not make you horny. It's juts there, and the patrons are just there. And the furniture is just there. It's all just there. That's it. Nothing to be angry about, nothing to be excited about. Just... nothing.
The clientele I first noticed were wacky Chinese tourists, at a guess, playing some variation of rock, paper, scissor that got them ever so excited. But that was as interesting as it got. One after another, various ex pat westerners entered and left, dressed in short shorts and forgettable t-shirts. They were the same person, flowing awkwardly in and out. Later on two Americans entered, their nationality was more obvious as they were louder than anyone else. One of them proceeded to talk about tech to the two east Asian looking ladies. Where they were from was not so obvious as they were quieter, so not so obviously American. When I am sat in a dry venue with aspirations of quirkiness and I hear Americans talk about tech, I know I am done. Too often when working near old street I would sit in Hoxton square during lunch breaks eating. Americans would circle the square in pairs having some sort of power walking meeting. As they would pass me by every few minutes, I would overhear tech talk and mutterings about social media engagement. This made me wish for some sort of apocalyptic incident to occur and annihilate the entire shit show of it all. These snippets of talk made me realise how London had been invaded and impregnated by wankery and there was no longer any hope.
The very small area where Red Bar contains a microcosm of wankery venues. This was what Hoxton and Shoreditch once was many years ago. It started so small that it was quaint and interesting. I'm sure that back then it was more interesting though as the age of wankery was not in full affect. But now the age of wankery has overstayed it's welcome and here it is, in Phnom Penh, a rugged third world city. It's a city that has no idea what wank awaits it in the future. This area will grow until it sprawls, and once it sprawls the prices will not justify putting up with a mundane experience that I had. Not one person here was excited or exciting, they were just there because that's where they are supposed to be.

SUPPORT MY WORK

Red Bar – Phnom Penh: A Familiar Wank Hole Read More »

negroni-oasis-bar-danang

Negroni Lovers Tour of Danang

negroni-oasis-bar-danang
A Big Old Negroni

Negroni Tour of Danang

Negroni Tour of Danang

Negronis aren't just a drink, they're a bloody good drink...

According to Campari Australia, those who drink Negronis regularly are witty, well-travelled, well-read and willing to spend big on a good meal. That sums me up proper. When I arrived in Danang in January 2020, one of the first searches I did was where can a man find a bar that will serve this witty well-read lunatic a Negroni? Turns out there’s a lot, well there were lots and lots, of places, particularly in the My An ward wear I lived. So, as a functioning smash hound who loves Negronis, I present to you a run down of the establishments I have hit up during my Negroni chasing adventures in Danang.

Oasis Tapas Bar

negroni-oasis-tapas-bar
negroni-oasis-bar-danang

The first Negroni I had in Danang was at a bar called Wanderlust (it soon died just after the second lock down in March). They use to Negroni Tuesdays where they were supposed to be 60,000! Unfortunately they seemed to forget about this rule when I turned up, and charged me 95,000. What a liberty. Shortly after this event I wish to forget I discovered that the famous Oasis Bar in My An served Negronis for 85,000, which is a very handsome price for a tight-fisted, I mean, bargain hunting gent like myself. The Negronis here were the fucking bomb. Mixed correctly with care, the attention to detail from the mixing technique to the ice cube to the fine print of orange peel were all first rate. Not only was it done with god-damn respect, the measures thrown into this saucy red fox were beyond generous.

The head bartender there was a quietly spoken psychopath, not because he strangled cats and posted severed fingers to the local authority building, but because he loved making big and strong drinks to fuck you up. I would always have three here, that was the standard, any more than three and you would be resembling My Khe beach on a blowy day: proper wavy. This is how you do it, this is how you satisfy a discerning punter like me and keep me coming back for more like a crackhead on sample day. This was a business model that should be shouted about by every business mogul online. Gary Vee should be doing daily Instagram videos declaring: “Oasis Tapas Bar Negronis are the fucking standard, raise your fucking game…” or something like that. You may realise that I have referred to Oasis in the past-tense, and that is because, like Wanderlust, it is no more. Oasis was an institution, it was one of the very first foreign owned bars in the My An area and had been doing great business for a decade. But 2020 has had no respect for anything, and around July time Oasis closed it’s doors for the last time. A fucking disgrace, can any other bar in the area meet it’s solid standard of smash???

sOul kitchen

Soul Kitchen in An Bang is a nice location right on the beach. A little overpriced, as these beach front joints tend to be, it is a relaxing spot, to extent! You will find yourself being pleasantly harassed by beach vendors flogging all sorts of wares and quails eggs. They smile a lot and are very friendly, but they do have similar traits to that of a small town night club sex pest. No does mean no to them. This is why many a man has developed the cold blank face stare. I use to think people were proper rude and entitled pricks based on the frequent use of the cold blank face, just staring into space dismissively like some Uber honky with a hookers elbow jammed up their Harris. However, as I have learned, these arseholes are wise arseholes, because if you have no intention of buying stuff you don't need not want, being smiley and engaging is just leading people on, and that's very mean.

On my previous two visits to Soul Kitchen I had not realised that they sold Negronis and I happened to find myself here on the random and was pleasantly surprised to see my mistress on the menu. At 120,000 dong it's in the higher price bracket, and basically that means it's 90,000 for the booze and 30,000 for the view. It's a good view, but the music they play in this joint doesn't compliment the sites of lush beach and ocean. It's more for complimenting the stench of trustafarian dreadlock stank and sweaty first world chub folds in a dirt hostel. I suppose those are minor gripes, but then again, being so complacent about these minor gripes is what drives some men to murder.

After consuming a tuna steak that my friend had been singing the praises of for some time and feeling mildly satisfied, it was time to consume a glass of the bosses nectar. I ordered the Negroni whilst my friend remained silent, only for the waitress to walk away and for him to suddenly inform me that these Negroni’s were no good. He said that they did not use Rosso Vermouth but orange juice instead. I was disgusted by this concept and equally disgusted that he did not inform me whilst making the order, but I’m an explorer, and sometimes you might have to experience some most dark and hideous things.

Fast forward a few minutes and she brought the Negroni over, from a distance it looked like a regular Negroni and once it had arrived it did not resemble the Frankenstein monster my friend had predicted. He was surprised by this, I was not, as I am an Englishman abroad and we don’t have any issue with causing offence so this waitress must have known I was not to be played with. What did shock me, and I am still recovering, was that instead of a signature orange peel, there was a whole round slice from what must have been the worlds biggest lime. A slice of lime in a Negroni? Not today satan! But, it was here now and I figured maybe this addition may open up doors to a whole new world of taste sensations yet experienced by a way above average human like myself. Unfortunately this was not to be, the lime did not add anything but it did not take too much away. This was by far the most average Negroni I have ever had, and when something is so difficult to fuck up that is quite an achievement to be honest. It was forgettable, except for the un-welcome presence of lime and the very idea that this could have been made with orange juice. That is unforgettable and unforgivable and lucky for them they narrowly escaped receiving a thoroughly stern dressing down on google maps.

negroni-craftsman-danang

the craftsman

the craftsman

I have only been to this place twice, and both times I only drank one drink, and it wasn't a Woo Woo. This place is where you expect to drink negronis, it's all jazzy, and like Hoxton ten years ago. Yes, it's a wanker hole. Let me clarify, I have no problem with countless jazz inspired speak easy cocktail joints, but if you don't admit to it's wankery and have the self awareness that you are committing an act of wankery by drinking there, then you need to call mumsy for a good drawing down. Noone likes moderate jazz, not even the musicians, it's just a lie we all partake in.
The level of wankery was at record breaking levels on this evening. Not only was I served a small complimentary bowl of salted popcorn, once a very kooky idea in East London toss holes, but I also received an auditory assault from the live jazz ensemble. Yes, ensemble, I will use this kind of talk when describing such experiences. You may have heard of scat singing, you may have seen it movie parody form, but to experience live in reality is something else. For two seconds I thought it was just Vietnamese, until the haunting reality kicked me in the Harris, this was scat talk. Surely this was some kind of, I dunno, prank or something bro. Buy it wasn't, and people were nodding and clapping with acceptance. I just couldn't accept this. And worse of all some boys were videoing and photographing this for what had to be promotional purposes, and I was caught on camera several times. I'm immortalised in wankery now. I hate technology.
But hey, the negroni though, that's why I subjected myself to such things. It was small in portions, but they had a very impressive trick to manipulate your expectations by plonking an ice cube inside the glass with a vast circumference. This made the whole glass look full to the brim with booze, when in reality, it was a quarter full of fight juice. Nice trick pal, but next time, give a man more bang.

paws

Opposite where Wanderlust once was, is a curious place that has deck chairs and sometimes plays Charleston infused house. Sounds terrible I know, but it's not so bad. On occasions I would have a massage and enjoy the relaxing aftermath sat on one of those deckchairs, drinking a cocktail whilst waiting for the sun to go away. This place does get busy, but I've never attended, unlike the craftsman, on a busy night. And nor would I want to, people are terrible, worse than hamsters. The negronis here are decent enough, priced at 100k, it's far superior to crazy cats lunatic offering. As far as quality goes, it's as good as one as one I would make myself, but it does come in a nice glass, the ice is a good size, and the booze content is agreeable. Jesus, what kind of ponsed up psychopath am I.

negroni-paws-bar-danang

apocalypse now bar

First time I came to the Apocalypse Now bar was when I first came to Danang. I understood the drill, it's a poncy beach bar with inflated prices, but I wanted the Mrs to at least have some boasting points on Instagram and this is the kind of place that would impress the easily impressed. It has the usual superficial charm that a middle aged tourist might think is mad hip. Loud obnoxious generic house music and cocktails in nice glasses, plus some live music interpretations of 70's pedophile rock. When I came I had no idea they sold Negronis and was on a budget at the time, but as soon as the sweet baller mistress was in view I had to succumb to her seductive calling. At that time it was pretty pricey, but upon my recent return the prices have well and truly been pumped up.more than a body steroids heads ball bag. I was almost so disgusted by the price I was close to causing a late scene before writing a very stern letter, but I refrained. The cocktail itself is adequate, but the price can blow a camper van of drag queens. If they took a moment to turn off their offensive plodding euro plop house music and let a man listen to the beauty of the ocean I might not be so critical, but they didn't and I will show no chill. This one can be given a miss and you will never regret that decision unless you intend to get knocked up by a 60 year old used car salesman.

Note: I do believe Apocalypse Bar is no more, it has not been open for a month or so now. Perhaps this was due to the storms and it being low season, but it most likely has been victim, like many venues in Danang, to the financial ruin of a post-covid closed border.

Negroni Lovers Tour of Danang Read More »